Toefl essay - Please evaluate - Always telling the truth is the most important

Prompt - Read the question below. You have 30 minutes to plan, write, and revise your essay. Typically, an effective essay will contain a minimum of 300 words.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement?
Always telling the truth is the most important consideration in any relationship.
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.


“Honesty is the best policy” and I certainly believe in it. I concur with the author’s statement that telling the truth is crucial in any relationship, but whether we should do it always, we need to reflect on that.
Most of the people have tendency to remain in the good books of their loved ones, so if their friends or family have some weakness or some issue area, they would not share it with them for the fear of hurting them. But actually they are doing more harm than good. For instance, if you feel your friend is obese, but you still tell him/her that she is slim, you are actually putting risk on his/her health, as obesity is detrimental for good health. It may also lead to various other diseases. So instead of hiding the truth, one should actually advise his friend for something like to cut down sugar intake or go for some exercise. Your friend might feel hurt when you reveal the truth to him, but here, the priority is his health. Once he realize that you told him the truth for his better he would revere you for letting him know the truth and love you even more.
Moreover, for a relationship the most important factor is trust. Trust can only be build if both the persons/parties are truthful to each other. By hiding the truth you may actually jeopardize your relationship. For example, if you hide something from your friend for the fear of losing respect in his eyes & he is informed about the truth from someone else, and it might spoil your relationship or even end it.
However, there are certain cases, in which always speaking truth is not advisable e.g. for somebody who is bereaved, telling him the hard reality at that time may put him in to some shock or comma. Or somebody who has lost his confidence because of the poor grades, telling him the truth that he did not put much effort might further reduce his confidence or even provoke him to take an extreme action. So these kinds of truths should be tackled carefully.

Nonetheless it is crucial to speak the truth for any relationship but it is also important that we analyze the circumstances. There are numerous reasons people like to hide the truth e.g. to be in good books, for the fear of losing respect etc. but these excuses are injurious to build a good relationship. We all know that truth is bitter, but if we use its bitterness to ameliorate somebody, we are actually showing that how much we care for that relation.

TOEFL listening discussions: What did the young man do during his last holiday?

Hi, your essay is excellent. Most of my comments were suggestions for improvements, as you did not have too many outright errors. I think your examples were relevant and effective and your essay had a clear overall structure and was easy to follow. Is this for IELTS? If so, I think it would score a band 7.

Thanks you so much, you comments are so valuable. I would definitely work more on my usage of article as I notice I have made a lot of mistakes in the use of ‘a’ and ‘the’.
I have doubt in this: these excuses are injurious [color=red]to build[ing] a good relationship.
I think it should be either “to build” or “in building”, what do you think?
This essay is for Toefl, could you please rate it?

Thanks & Regards,
Namrta Mahajan

I think it should be “injurious to building”. “Building” is used as a noun here, meaning the act of building (it can also mean a structure of course, but that is not the meaning here). Injurious is a synonym for damaging, and we would say “damaging to” something. Or going to the root word, you cause injury to something, not injury for something.

I think I would rate this a 4 out of 5, maybe a 4.5.

Hi Luchen,

I just wanted to pay my gratitude for all your help; with your guidance I was able to spot mistakes in my writing. I had just 8 days to prepare for my Toefl, but your timely responses really helped me to asses my writing. I have got 104/120 in Toefl exam (R-27, L-26, S-27, W-24).
I was expecting 25+ in my written section but then I guess one can not improve ones’ grammar overnight and it requires a lot of practice.
My exam is over, but you would still find me around as this “whole exam preparation hing” has actually stimulated me to improve on my writing. English is a fascinating language and I intend to become as fluent as possible in all of its areas.

Once again, thank you so much.